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Reviews of records by Toshinori Kondo

I can only review albums I know, so for now this list includes only albums I own.
When you want to review an album I don't know (or if you want to share your thoughts about one of the albums listed below), please send your review to

This review section is still under construction and additions / changes will be implemented without further notice! ;-)

Kaoru Abe, Motoharu Yoshizawa, Toshinori Kondo, Derek Bailey - Aida's call

The oldest recording of Kondo that I own. This is not for the faint of heart! The record contains a registration of a live concert on Sax, Bass, Trumpet and Guitar. If anything that I have heart is free improvisational jazz, than it is this recording! Sometimes it seems as if they really try to completely ignore each other and all play on their own, without any structure. I guess that it takes some time and energy to learn how to listen to this record, let alone appreciate it!

Toshinori Kondo + IMA - Taihen

O.K. this is my first contact with the music of Kondo. (It is possible that I was introduced to the music of Kondo by Ben Mol through the album "Metal Position", but I don't know that for sure after 15 years ;-) ). It is a typical mid-eighties Japan-pop-jazz record (is there a category for this type of music?). A lot of Japanese influences and even some vocals by Kondo. The record contains a mixture of quite high speed music and slow lazy tracks that still contain a lot of tension. It was great stuff back then but I can imagine that it doesn't do the trick for the average "Ki-Oku" listener. In the mid-80's Kondo already had his unique sound but he didn't use electronic equipment to alter the sound of his trumpet as he did from the early-90's.

Herbie Hancock - Sound-System

Herbie Hancock played with a number of the great Jazz musicians on this earth. In the mid-eighties, he started the electro-mixing phase for the masses with the master hit "Rockit" (on Futureshock). This album contains the same kind of music as Futureshock, but without the same feeling or impact. Two tracks on this record contain some sort of collaboration (voice, trumpet) by Toshinori Kondo. Track number six is one of those tracks and contains the undistinguishable trumpet sound of Kondo. There is this theory that tells us that Kondo also performs on track two, but I am not able to locate his influence.

Toshinori Kondo + IMA - Konton

Even after 14 years, this album is still one of my Kondo favorites. It contains a unique combination of Japanese influences, rock, jazz and pop. It is from the same year as "Tutu" by Miles Davis and I think that it is of the same beauty but with more rough edges. I think that "Konton" better survived the past 14 years than "Tutu". If you have the opportunity to buy this record, I advice you to do so. It is well worth the (Japanese-Import) price.

Ryuichi Sakamoto - Illustrated Musical Encyclopedia

What a combination it could be! Sakamoto and Kondo! Unfortunately Kondo only performs on one track of this album. It's a slow track, that changes halfway with the addition of the characteristic sound of Kondo's trumpet. I must admit that it is not one of the best pieces of either artist.

Toshinori Kondo - Touchstone

This is a very smooth album compared with the albums that Kondo recorded with IMA in the same period (late 80's - early 90's). This album is a solo album where Kondo played all instruments. The main instrument is his (distorted) trumpet. He added synthesizers and some electronic percussion.

Han Bennink, Eugene Chadbourne, Toshinori Kondo - Jazz Bunker

This album (2CD) is recorded in February 1980, live at the Jazz Bunker, Rotterdam, Holland. It contains the registration of the concerts by Bennink, Chadbourne and Kondo. The music is weird and experimental. There is a world of difference between this work and the albums that Kondo recorded with IMA, only four years later.